HUGE win for CA Gun Owners - High Cap Magazines

On March 29th, 2019 CA gun owners were finally vindicated in a huge victory regarding our 2nd amendment rights. This landmark decision ruled that: “California Penal Code § 32310 is hereby declared to be unconstitutional in its entirety and shall be enjoined.”

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"Accidental" shooting = Negligence

The Story:
A teenager is at his girlfriends house in Escondido, CA when, according to him, she says she has a gun in her dresser and asks him to look at it. In his own account he describes picking it up and, because the safety wasn't on, "it shot him". The bullet went through his hand and into his girlfriend. They both went to the hospital and lived another day. 

Which rule was violated:
According to the 4 main safety rules of Firearm Safety, lets examine how this negligence occurred, because he broke every single rule.

  1. Always treat every firearm as if it is loaded
    • He didn't handle it as if it was loaded.
  2. Never cover anything with the muzzle you are NOT willing to destroy
    • He pointed it at multiple things that he shouldn't have.
  3. Never put your finger on the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire
    • His finger was obviously on the trigger since a handgun is an inanimate object and can't grow legs and walk around shooting people.
  4. BE SURE of your target and what is beyond it
    • Not only was he not sure of his "target"(his hand), but he didn't even consider what was beyond it (his girlfriend). 

How could it have been avoided?
This story is a sobering example of why firearm safety training is so important. It could have ended so much worse! He should never have touched that firearm. The handgun should have been locked up or stored safely so that it couldn't be tampered with by an "unauthorized person". If a child had found that gun and caused injury to himself or someone else the gun owner would be looking at a possible felony. If the teenager had killed himself or someone else the gun owner would be looking at a criminal offense. Firearm safety education, for the firearm's owner or the teenager could have potentially prevented this narrow mishap.


What are Penal Codes and why should they matter to me?

If you've taken a class at Iron Defense you'll know that I reference CA Penal Codes quite often, encouraging the students to write down different codes and research them further. But I've found that these codes don't mean much unless their importance is understood. So, what are these codes that look like a math equation in Greek? (ie. §198.5) 

The Penal Codes in California are a set of codes which are organized into six parts, with different Titles, Chapters and Sections, all of which have been established to define and apply criminal law. Their significance to you lies in the fact that if you ever have to use your firearm to defend yourself, or someone in your home, how the justice system handles the case will hinge entirely on how the codes address your specific situation as they pertain to "self defense", "assault", "trespassing" etc. and how, according to the law, we can respond to different offenses. We also use these Penal Codes to explain how the law views our rights concerning our personal property and how we can defend it. We can even use these codes to understand what the law considers a "loaded" firearm when transporting it in our vehicles. We use these codes to know when lethal force is justified in the eyes of the law. And the list goes on. 

So the laws in our state (it is different for every jurisdiction) are incredibly important when it comes to looking at different crimes through the eyes of the courts. It establishes a common, fair, un-biased approach to crimes that you see everyday on the news. There have been huge court cases where I've heard comments on how the conviction didn't make sense or how the person was just "defending themselves", but when you understand the set of laws our courts are bound by it becomes more clear and it begins to paint a picture of what is deemed as lawful behavior and what isn't. 

If you want to browse through some of the Penal Codes in CA this is a great site